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Poverty grows in suburbs

Study: Midwest, South see highest rise in poverty rate

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Poverty is a growing problem in the United States, and six of 10 cities with the largest poverty-rate increases from 1999-2005 were in the Midwest, according to a report by The Brookings Institution's Metropolitan Policy Program. The 2005 poverty rate in large cities was 18.8 percent, compared with a rate of 9.4 percent for suburbs, and the overall percentage of people in poverty increased in both cities and suburbs from 1999-2005. "These trends are in large part the function of the 2001-02 recession and slow wage growth thereafter for lower-skilled workers," according to the report, "Two Steps Back: City and Suburban Poverty Trends." The report also notes that the suburban poor outnumbered their city counterparts by about 1 million in 2005 -- the numbers had been roughly even in 1999. The Brookings Institution is a private nonprofit organization focused on independent analysis and recommendations for policymakers. "Poverty rates rose significantly in Midwestern and Southern metropol...